Saudi Arabia citizens returning from Ukraine exempted from taking PCR test: GACA

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Saudi Arabia citizens traveling back to the Kingdom from Ukraine along with their non-Saudi dependents are exempt from taking a PCR test to enter the country, Saudi’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced on Monday.

The exemption has been applied to all airlines operating within the Kingdom.

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Instead of taking a PCR test and presenting a negative result on arrival, travelers will be required to take a test within 48 hours of arrival, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, adding that failing to comply with these regulations will result in legal action.

The decision comes as unrest continues to grow in Ukraine due to a widespread invasion by Russia.

As of Tuesday, the conflict is approaching its fourth consecutive day and has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians as the European Union continues to open its borders to them, leaving many foreigners stranded in the country.

On February 9, the Kingdom announced that all Saudi citizens and foreign nationals traveling to the country would need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result upon arrival that is valid for no less than 48 hours from the time of departure, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

While children under the age of eight are exempt from this rule, COVID-19 regulations and protocols imposed by any given country of departure will still need to be followed when and where applicable.

Saudi Arabia recorded 653 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Monday, according to the Kingdom’s health ministry, leading to a total of 745,027 cases and 8,998 virus-related deaths since the pandemic’s onset in the country.

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